Buenos Aires Law on "Reproductive Health" Declared Unconstitutional

Violates Parents´ Rights, Says Judge

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BUENOS AIRES, MARCH 6, 2002 (Zenit.org).- A law allowing minors to receive contraceptives without their parents´ knowledge or approval was declared unconstitutional by a judge.

The civil justice of Buenos Aires ruled against the Reproductive Health law as it is applied by the government of the capital, following a legal challenge by three plaintiffs.

Judge Graciela González Echeverría of Court No. 34 found that neither the lawmakers nor the government of the capital have the authority to encourage intimacy between minors against their parents´ principles, the Argentine Catholic agency AICA reported Tuesday.

The judge also declared the law unconstitutional because the Argentine Constitution protects life from conception, she said.

The lawyers who presented the appeal — Roberto Castellano, Carlos Esteva and Eduardo Sequeiros — cited their rights as parents.

They stated that the Buenos Aires deputies had «grossly» neglected the national constitution and the civil code when they sanctioned legislation that «violates the rights to intimacy, health and ´patria potestas,´ and introduces a foreign legislative objective that imposes a specific sexual conduct on the population.»

In her decision, Judge González said that the state must not rob the family of its functions, and that its role is «subsidiary to the function of parents.»

The three plaintiffs had argued that the statute was based on «deceit, insofar as it had nothing to do with health or reproduction, since maternity cannot be considered as a sickness nor sterility as a symptom of health.»

«It is quite simply a clumsy plan of artificial birth control through the use of methods that are harmful to health and that only benefit the manufacturers of the products that are used, and it ends by promoting AIDS and other pathologies by spreading the false idea among minors that sexuality is dissociated from morality and values,» the lawyers stated.

The judge charged the government of Buenos Aires for expenses incurred in the case.

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